A northern pintail drake swims in Ruddy Lake at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington

After moving to Arizona I have fallen in love with having a swimming pool in the backyard, swimming has become second only to hiking as my favorite way to exercise in the summer heat, even though I’ll never look as lovely in the water as this northern pintail swimming in Ruddy Lake at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

The Pintails

Six pintails stand on the melting ice in Horse Lake

Six pintails stand amidst the melting ice of Horse Lake. They reminded me of teenagers lined up along a wall at a dance, a little too nervous to take to the dance floor, especially the males who looked like they were decked out in formal attire. In truth they were a little ill at ease and anxious for the ice to finish melting, as they are as awkward on the ice as they are graceful in the water.